Daniel Buren

Daniel Buren

French painter, conceptual artist, sculptor.
Date of Birth: 25.03.1938
Country: France

  1. Biography of Daniel Buren
  2. Sculptural Works

Biography of Daniel Buren

Daniel Buren is a French painter, conceptual artist, and sculptor. He completed his education at Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Métiers d'Art in Paris in 1960. After 1966, he developed an aesthetic form that allowed him to focus solely on the position of the artwork in space: he concentrated on the image of alternating white and colored stripes. This creative strategy became his signature style.

In 1969, he published a declaration in which he renounced the creation of "composed" paintings. Demonstrating complete freedom from tradition, he began to paint equally sized stripes, alternating pairs of colors. Deciding to participate in a group exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, Buren devised a plan to hang two striped canvases, one approximately 20x9 meters, in the central part of the hall, and the second one above 88th Street. The idea was that as the viewer descended the museum's spiral ramp, they would see the hanging canvas from different angles, transforming it into a three-dimensional construction that changed the function of the ramp itself.

Sculptural Works

Daniel Buren saw the meaning of his work in not imposing, not constructing, and not resolving how to organize the internal order of the artwork. He tried to maintain this position throughout the 1980s when his work was often criticized for becoming nothing more than a sign, an empty manner of radical behavior. Nevertheless, Buren's projects, no matter how decorative they may appear, still demanded viewers to reflect on how the artwork depends on its placement in space.

Discussing the construction he prepared in 1984 for an exhibition in Ghent, Buren offered the following logical structure: "Although all the elements of this work are essentially elements of traditional painting, it is impossible to say that what we are talking about here is painting. Furthermore, although all these elements are placed stationary, we cannot say that what we are talking about here is sculpture. And although the entire structure can be regarded as a decoration that opens up from both sides depending on the movements and positions of the viewers, so that they become like actors in a wordless play, all this nevertheless does not allow us to say that what we are talking about here is theater... What is shown is only what is shown."

Buren's striped columns, installed in 1986 in the courtyard of the Palais-Royal in Paris and causing much protest from the locals, have now become one of the city's landmarks.